Thursday, June 13, 2013


As you can probably tell from reading this blog, my interest in poker is at an all time low.  I haven't been playing as much as I used to (which honestly could be for the best I play more than almost all the pros I know...but not more than the super successful ones I guess) and that's been for a number of reasons.  The main two, however, are that I just haven't been enjoying it even when I'm winning, and the games are just getting so much worse all the time.  Like yes, there are still good games all over the place.  But not like there used to be even a year or two ago (and even then it was acknowledged that things were getting worse).  I've been playing the 25/50 at Hustler, and even it has started to show signs of weakness.  Some Commerce white guy pros (and BB who is an honorary white dude) have started making it their home, they never have 3 games and sometimes can't even get 2, and I mean for crying out loud it's 25/50.  The commerce 40s?  Grim as usual.  I recently quit a 1/2 and talked to the south african and MikeL on the way out, who were playing in one of the worst 40 games I have ever seen.  Mike looked at my chips, looked at the MUST MOVE 1/2 game I had quit and said "that game is better than this one" and I agreed wholeheartedly.  So yeah I mean there have been some big decent games, but I just don't have the stomach or nerve for that right now, and it's not like I can just play blind steals with DosXX and Juice and pretend like I'm not at a disadvantage.

Some of this is just a lack of bodies in the summertime.  WSOP, family responsibilities, whatever.  But some of it is more than that.  Without the internet creating new players, the mid stakes games just don't get the new blood they need.  You can only rake $250/hour off the table for so long before people start to go broke, and without new blood the only ones who remain are the small winners who run OK.  And while the games are still just fine, it really doesn't make sense to play 40/80 for a living if you can only make $30-$40 per hour doing it (and keep in mind that is 1 bet per 100, or more).  I've known this for a long time, but the way of live poker is that you really just need to be crushing the games you are in (always be the best or second best player) to justify it.  If you're eeking out half a bet per hour or even less (which is undoubtedly the upper end of what I could do in the 1/2 and 2/4 games) the swings are just monstrous and can last for literally a year.  So I mean, I dunno.  2012 was my most profitable year ever, but at the same time a huge chunk of that came from one staking agreement and 1 day of 1/2 kicked to 2/4 (literally 40% of my years profits came from those two things).  I ended the year feeling like I had "succeeded" at poker, and yet that gave me the strange feeling that I wanted to maybe move on.  At the same time, I know there is more work I could do;  I know that I am capable of turning myself into a soul crusher if I want to.  The thing is I just don't want it.

So I guess what I'm saying is that I'm kind of thinking it could be time to consider moving on, but am not really sure what I'd do next.  Don't sound the death bells yet, but they could toll at any time for my poker career.  I realize this probably comes as a shock to many people out there, who have just been reading my blog and haven't really been here on the ground as it were to see what playing poker everyday has done to me.  To be honest, if I had this whole thing to do over again, I'd probably have listened to all the warnings, kept it a hobby and not given up on my software career.  I always said I could take 2 or 3 years off and it wouldn't be a problem.  But 5?  Five is probably going to be a problem if I want to jump back in the pool.  So for now I guess I'll do enough to tread water, keep my sanity, and wait for a flash of inspiration.  Which I've sort of already been doing for a while now anyway I suppose.....they usually do come, if you're the right amount of patient :)


armor said...

Hey Jesse, I am convinced you're thinking in the right direction. It will not be an easy change, but it's required to stay sane IMO. Best of luck in whatever you do next!

ExMember said...

It's been seven years since I left my software career to do this. I've never averaged more than 20 hours of poker a week, which is basically a disaster.

What it comes down to is that I need to spend my time doing something I really enjoy. I don't know what that is, but I know now that it's not writing software and not playing poker.

Good luck in finding what that is for you.